Arturas Bumšteinas – Epiloghi, CD, Unsounds, 2014
In Epiloghi, Lithuanian composer Arturas Bumšteinas explores relations between, on the one hand, theater noise-machines used in Baroque opera to create wind, storm and dramatic effects on stage, with, on the other hand, Futurists noise-machines, or Intonarumori.
The album starts with non-descript, hard to identify noises and gradually adds sparse piano and harpsichord notes played by Christine Kessler. The harpsichord’s leading role on some tracks and Kessler’s soprano voice on track #4 are an evocation of early music and Baroque vocal mannerisms. Theater noise-machines take center stage with track #5, not as illustrative theater events but as pure noise-producing machines – hence the homage to Luigi Russolo and track titles culled from his Art of Noises. The last, 22mn-long track is a musique concrète composition for theater noise-machines alone where precision and close-up recording recall some of Nicolas Bernier’s own works in the same field (like usure.paysage, CD, Hrönir, 2011 – listen). In the end, the juxtaposition of Baroque theater noise-machines and Intonarumori actually sheds new light on Russolo’s Art of Noises itself, which might be considered more as stage music without a play than experimental music per se.
My only complain with Epiloghi would be the sound production, which seems rather small scale and studio-like, whereas bigger sound stage proportions or a proper live recording would have benefited to the entire concept. Anyway, this disc is an ambitious and original project perfectly realized by an adventurous composer.